TURIN, Italy–Reply has inaugerated Area42, the new applied research center focused on developing the most innovative technologies. The Area42 “corner Labs” are driven by cutting-edge work in the areas of Autonomous Warehouse, Last Mile Delivery, Robotics, Connected Products, Blockchain and the Metaverse. Reply’s experts are working on these technologies daily, transforming ideas into innovative prototypes, exploiting their full potential, and applying them to real use industrial cases.
The Area42 Laboratories are the distinctive component of Reply’s new Turin headquarters, which covers an area of over 20,000 square metres. Each workspace has been completely renovated and optimized in line with the Group’s new working models, focusing on a more open and collaborative approach. Reply will host its customers in the new spaces, collaborating with them to experiment, incubate new concepts, and test the latest technologies in a way that enables digital products and services to be adapted to their specific innovation context.
The 6 Area42 Laboratories focus on the key themes representing the most advanced frontiers of innovation for the industrial world:
– Autonomous Warehouse, the Area42 laboratory where solutions are studied and developed for the autonomous management of warehouse activities, thanks to the use of autonomous drones and vehicles capable of interfacing with innovative warehouse management platforms such as LEA Reply;
– Last-mile delivery, the Area42 laboratory focused on the mobility of self-driving vehicles and robots within pre-defined spaces (e.g., campuses, hospitals, factories, etc.) that are capable of interacting with the surrounding environment;
– Robotics, the Area42 laboratory that combines Artificial Intelligence technologies with robotics to study the agility of autonomous robots and use scenarios focused on the interaction between the latter and large environments requiring repetitive maintenance and control activities;
– Connected Products, the Area42 space focused on the design and development of connected products and services, from the prototyping of devices to the creation of front-end applications, also thanks to the support of IoT accelerators;
– Blockchain, in the context of an ever-greater evolution of the concepts of smart cities and shared mobility, this Area42 laboratory experiments with the application of blockchain technologies for enabling real scenarios based on the Digital Identity of Vehicles;
– Metaverse, the Area42 laboratory focused on the application and integration of Mixed Reality solutions to create immersive applications in virtual environments, where users can enter and move around and where virtual and physical objects co-exist.
“The Area42 laboratories represent a unicum in the modern technological panorama,” affirmed Filippo Rizzante, Reply CTO. “Here, we give life to new and innovative concepts and apply the latest technologies to provide solutions capable of creating value for business and for society as a whole. We experiment with and implement innovative ideas that have a strategic impact and generate a competitive advantage for our customers. Currently, our focus is on six highly topical issues, but technological evolution will always continue to drive us further, in line with what has always been our approach at Reply: to prepare for and make the future a tangible reality.”
Area42 joins Reply’s existing laboratories in Europe: the Test Automation Centre, focused on the automated monitoring and testing of the quality of business-critical products and services; the IoT Validation Lab, where interconnected solutions are validated and also integrated with Reply’s new Turin headquarters, creating the most advanced hub of laboratories for the industry sector; Area 360, the center for augmented and virtual reality-based in Milan which was created to support businesses; the Immersive Experience Lab in Munich, which experiments with next-generation immersive experiences; the Cyber Security Lab, in Cologne, focused on the study and testing of cyber threats; and finally, Reply’s new labs opening soon in London which will be dedicated to robotics, edge computing and sensory technologies.
“The creation of Area42 is part of a broader project of excellence in terms of property redevelopment that we have initiated here in Turin,” continues Tatiana Rizzante. “While carefully respecting the constraints imposed by the Superintendency of Architectural Heritage in relation to what is certainly considered a symbol of modern architecture, we wanted to create harmonious and stimulating spaces to work, exchange ideas and carry out research. The interconnection of spaces created to accommodate different functions – from individual to teamwork, from the sharing of projects to leisure time, from lounges to the most advanced laboratories – creates a fluid and open space. Our team of experts, but also our customers and partners, can thus take advantage of a truly immersive experience and experiment with technological innovation”.
The projects are driven by the concepts of innovation, collaboration and well-being, placing the focus on the two main protagonists: people and research.
The completely renovated Lingotto building offers open spaces and new paths, created to facilitate business relationships and enlivened by the most current languages and codes. Reply’s people find themselves immersed in a large, multi-functional space with areas off limits to mobile phones and meetings to facilitate concentration. Common areas are dedicated not only to brainstorming, but also to sports, catering and leisure, for a more effective sharing of ideas and socialisation in the workplace: an active and ever-evolving ecosystem.